New experiences are a popular reason to travel, and there’s no better way to have these opportunities than by engaging with the arts. Central New Jersey is home to a lively arts and entertainment scene with historic venues, groundbreaking new productions, and more attractions. With Central Jersey Convention & Visitors Bureau, learn about art centers and theaters in New Brunswick and beyond.
The State Theatre of New Jersey was originally built in 1921 as a silent film and vaudeville palace. Its historic significance is highlighted by the PBS program Treasures of New Jersey, and for good reason. Designed by internationally renowned architect Thomas W. Lamb, it features a lush interior with splendid golden archways, crystal chandeliers, and awe-inspiring Art Deco styling that will take you right back to the Jazz Age. Attending a show here is a step back in time.
Vintage design doesn’t mean antique amenities, however. The building has been fully renovated with improved HVAC systems, new bathrooms, and accessibility elevators – all while preserving its original Twenties charm.
Today, the 1,811-seat theatre is the largest performance arts center in the state. Its stage has played host to all kinds of shows, including Broadway, orchestra, comedy, jazz, rock, and pop, as well as Performances for Schools and Sensory-Friendly performances. Local stars perform alongside high-caliber artists such as Diana Ross, Kevin Hart, and Ringo Starr. Whatever your interests, there’s a show for you at the State Theatre of New Jersey.
George Street Playhouse
For travelers interested in experiencing something new, New Brunswick is also home to George Street Playhouse. Founded in 1974 by a former Rutgers faculty member, the Playhouse is the city’s first producing theater and a cornerstone of New Jersey culture and community.
The George Street Playhouse has an unwavering commitment to producing new works for audiences of all kinds to enjoy, from groundbreaking contemporary commentary to awe-inspiring productions of the classics. Its plays have been presented by numerous productions both on and off Broadway. It also commissions a Touring Theater that reaches 35,000 students annually, delivering issues-focused shows exploring topics such as diversity, tolerance, climate change, and personal wellness.
For audiences and guests, the George Street Playhouse offers 2 different theaters and a host of amenities. Both theaters are handicap-accessible and offer a variety of aids including audio-described performances, open captions, assisted listening, large-print, and Braille programs. All viewers can feel comfortable experiencing a show at the George Street Playhouse.
Other New Brunswick Theaters
Have the State Theatre and George Street Playhouse not caught your interest? New Brunswick is home to a vibrant community with ample opportunities to get involved in the arts. Here are a few other locations to explore:
The historic Dunellen Theatre began showing films in 1911. It has since expanded to live performances featuring tribute bands, emerging bands, stand-up comedy, and more. Zupko’s Tavern caters on-site with tavern-style food and a full bar. Waiters will serve right to your seat, letting you enjoy a meal and a drink while watching the show.
Crossroads Theatre Company
Crossroads Theatre Company is the nation’s premier Black theater. It is committed to examining African-American life, history, and culture through a theatrical lens. The company has produced over 100 works since its founding. Its stage shows everything from Ella Fitzgerald tributes to award-winning musicals, plays, and historic chronicles.
Algonquin Arts Theatre
Located nearby in Manasquan, NJ, the Algonquin Arts Theatre is a great place to experience popular performances. This non-profit arts center delivers high-quality performances of contemporary shows and classics. It also provides art and culture education to students of all ages in the New Brunswick community.
AMC New Brunswick
For film lovers, New Brunswick is also home to an AMC cinema. This is a great place to relax and watch the latest releases.
Discover Theaters in New Brunswick, NJ
Are you ready to book your show at a New Brunswick theater? Central Jersey Convention & Visitors Bureau is your guide to the area, including things to do and where to stay while experiencing art and theater in Central Jersey. Sign up for our email blast to find out about upcoming events and show times. Contact us to begin planning your stay.